The shocking reality of the mismanagement of allergens in the F&B industry was brought into sharp focus in the recent BBC Panorama programme.
The Panorama programme focussed on the takeaway industry and the corners being cut in terms of allergy management and hygiene, leaving customers at risk of serious allergic reaction and possibly death.
Undercover journalists discovered an alarming lack of knowledge from serving staff and demonstrated that menus failed to alert customers to allergens and were often out of date. 40% of restaurants that were 0-rated for hygiene have also been reprimanded for having poor allergens control in place. This has to change, not only for consumer safety, but also for businesses to survive as increasingly stringent legislation is put in place.
Tony Lewis – Chartered Institute of Environmental Health was featured on the programme saying,
“From a public health point of view, it’s extremely worrying – we all want to be able to go on to a website and have a reasonable expectation – a strong expectation – that the food we’re buying through there, is safe.”
Dr Hazel Gowland, Allergy Action UK stated that food delivery companies “have a major influence on many, many transactions between people with allergies and food businesses and they have opportunities to reduce these risks if they take that responsibility into their hands.”
Taking responsibility – how can Kitchen CUT help YOU?
With more and more cases of allergen related fatalities in the press, it’s not surprising that consumer confidence is dwindling. Recent research from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) cited that nearly two-thirds (64%) of people aged 16 to 24 who suffer from food allergies have avoided eating out in the past six months. These results are attributed to allergen sufferers’ lack of faith in restaurant menus, and in many cases this lack of faith is entirely warranted. There are steps that you can take to restore customer confidence and to make your business allergen compliant.
Embedding your menu
Kitchen CUT’s allergen software also allows you to create easy to view allergen tables and embeddable menus in your website so that customers can browse and filter to see which dishes they can eat based on their preferences/allergies. Giving customers this information to view in advance of visiting gives them comfort that you are diligent in your management of allergens. Knowing you use allergen software to manage this also builds confidence that the information is live and up to date and not an out-dated printout from a few weeks ago.
Kitchen CUT provides accurate allergen software by allowing suppliers to upload your product price and allergen data through our Supplier Gateway.This is free for suppliers to use and gives you complete control and visibility over the products and allergen data being supplied to you. Once approved by you, these ingredients are then available in your system to use – your chefs can be as creative as they like in the confidence that allergens are traced all the way from an ingredient level through to every sub recipe, dish and menu you create. Everything is tracked accurately and automatically updated for you.
One of the most alarming elements of the Panorama programme was how ill informed staff members were about the allergens present in the food they were serving. Nutritional, calorific and all important allergy information are available on easy to read service spec sheets for your whole team. If a recipe is updated or a product is replaced, these are all updated immediately and automatically, so that your team has up to date, accurate information at all times. The Kitchen CUT system also has a message board so that any updates to recipes or products can be flagged to all team members.
Customers are becoming more aware and more concerned about the presence of allergens, and as more and more fatal mistakes are being made by F&B operations, the rules and legislation surrounding allergens will change. Now is the time to make sure you have an accurate, efficient and future proof system in place.
You can get more information about Kitchen CUT or a free online demo by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling +44 (0) 330 113 0050
You can register for a free trial here.